Has that ever been said about you? I can remember my peers and teachers saying that to me.
Wow, these kinds of words can go deep!

When we are growing up, many things can be said which can have a lifelong effect.

Words that have been said in jest or in all seriousness can begin to mold us as we grow up. It is often difficult to break free from these kinds of comments.

Unfortunately comments similar to – ‘You won’t go far.’ or ‘There is not much of a future for you.’ and ‘What makes you think you could make a great impression on this world?’ can grow in us, ultimately changing from ‘just words’ to words we now believe are ‘true.’

Internally we think, ‘How can I make a difference with my life? Maybe that person was right….I won’t go far at all….after all, how could I possibly help or influence others?’

I have to confess it makes me smile when I see people rise to become influential entrepreneurs who, by their own confession, would say they were school/college drop outs. (I do have that part in common with them!) Many of them were told they would not go far if at all. I was recently looking at a large list of leaders on the Forbes 400 richest American list – a number of them were in a similar position as I.

Richard Branson is a brilliant example of this. At school he was thought to be lazy, not very clever, bored. He also had dyslexia. Now he is a worldwide figure employing thousands throughout the world. I very much admire how Richard broke through his difficulties. As he looked back at his early years he reflected on ‘The importance of turning a weakness into a strength.’ In turn many people have been inspired.

Let me say upfront – I am not Richard Branson’s PR person. But I do admire people who through no fault of their own seem to be able to turn a weakness around and make a big contribution to society. Perhaps they became entrepreneurs or have businesses that employ many people. Some have put on charity events. Whatever they have done ultimately affects society and brings a message of hope.

At the start of this blog, I recalled negative words being spoken to me. These caused a self-limiting belief to flourish within me. However by the time I got to 16, I realized a few major things:

1.  I can’t go back – history is history! (Tweet this or Share on Facebook) It was up to me and me alone if I was going to allow my history to shape my growth for the future. I could not allow the bucket loads of negative words spoken to me to be with me forever.

2.  Attitude is the great game changer. (Tweet this or Share on Facebook) One particular word had a big effect on me. It was something that with my past could grow me or destroy me. That word was ‘ATTITUDE.’ I had the option of blaming everyone else, act as if the world owed me favors and believe all the negative words and allow a bad attitude to grow within me.

Or I could allow a good attitude to grow in me, even knowing I had left school and college without much to speak of. I am not at all perfect, but I can honestly say that learning to have a good attitude about life becomes a foundational rock upon which you can grow. 

3.  The importance of having good people around you. (Tweet this or Share on  Facebook) Fortunately for me, when I was nearly 16 some good people befriended me, believed in me and were able to model faithfulness, the importance of working hard and learning to honor and trust others. They showed me what a ‘Good Attitude’ is and how that can help you overcome doubt, fear and self-limiting beliefs.

As you look at your life, why don’t you make time to have a ‘time of reflection.’ Consider if there are areas in your life which are holding you back. Ask yourself if there are self-limiting beliefs because of words that were said over your life.

The importance of having wise people around you cannot be underestimated. Mix with the wise and you will grow wiser. Make sure you have a mentor or be part of a group/community which can encourage you.

You may or may not be a person of faith, but as one who is I would encourage you to rise up and believe that you can make a difference regardless of your past.

As you do, the statement will change from the title of this blog – ‘You won’t go far’ to a question – How far will you now go?

Go for it my friend!

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